Norma and Arthur Lewis, a suburban couple with a young child, receive a simple wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences. A mysterious stranger delivers the message that the box promises to bestow upon its owner $1 million with the press of a button. However pressing this button will simultaneously cause the death of another human being somewhere in the world; someone they don't know. With just 24 hours to have the box in their possession, Norma and Arthur find themselves in the cross-hairs of a startling moral dilemma and must face the true nature of their humanity.
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WHAT A WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY! Both in my time and money in watching it and their time and money in making it! I didn't want to give it even ONE star! There ought to be a rating of ZERO stars...This movie sucked! I have to echo what two of the reviewers said: Cameron Diaz sucked in this. I actually like her but I think she was trying to decide on what accent to use, for a Virginia housewife, the whole movie! But it wasn't just her...everyone sucked in this thing. They tried hard, you could tell, to make it seem like life in the 70s...but oh my God, what a horrible story. That was part of it. They really should have upgraded the story and made it more up-to-date. But I thought they were going to go for a Martian takeover of the world so that's why they showed this as happening right after the Viking mission started sending back images of Mars (1976). But guess what? It had no connection to the movie! LOL. I guess they figured (halfway through) that Tom Cruise already did a Martian movie (which I think also sucked) so they couldn't do it. But I think they could have pulled it off with a different angle. No, this movie was absolutely horrible. I can't explain why the acting sucked though...maybe it was just the wrong set of actors. No chemistry. And I couldn't figure out the nosebleed thing. I didn't want to go back and watch it again...there's no way that was going to happen! This is probably my second review ever of a movie but I just had to say something to get it off my chest! This movie just sucked so bad!!! lol Fortunately, I only spent 1.07 on it. I almost want to hang out at the Redbox where I got it to warn people about it!
'The Box' is a melding of science fiction, horror and social commentary, directed by Richard Kelly. Like his other films, the most famous of which is 'Donnie Darko', the movie seems to be heavily influenced by the styles and techniques used by Stanley Kubrick in '2001: A Space Odyssey' and 'A Clockwork Orange', although the concepts being explored are somewhat different. Unfortunately, Kelly fails to execute this style as well as he could have. It also doesn't help that so many other film-makers have tried to emulate this style over the years, to the point where it's becoming a bit tiresome.
The plot and themes of the movie had a lot of potential, which is why I was a little disappointed with the overall product. The film is successful in making you ponder over the questions it poses as well as its underlying message about human nature and free will. In order to understand it, you need to keep in mind that it's mostly meant to pose open-ended questions rather than provide revelations, although there is some social commentary spread throughout the movie. You, the viewer, are meant to draw your own conclusions or at least acknowledge the dilemmas. The ending is meant to be open.
Another issue people have pointed out is that the movie can make you feel a bit uncomfortable; I suspect that this may have been intentional, but it's impossible to be certain about that. To some degree, that discomfort might be attributed to the poor editing, which I'll elaborate on in a moment.
Despite its success in some areas, one of the biggest issues with the film is that the plot didn't come together very well. Movies that jump around can still be good, of course, but some degree of cohesion is always required, and the Kelly seems to have sacrificed that in order to keep the film stylized. In addition, the editing was not well done. Once again, I know what he was going for with the sudden, abrupt changes of scene, but he didn't succeed in pulling it off. It just comes across as amateurish.
Cameron Diaz's acting was below par, but she's never been a very strong actress, so I wasn't expecting anything amazing from her. The other actors were okay. Not great, not terrible -- just okay.
On the whole, I felt the movie was decent. It managed to catch my attention and keep me entertained. Better execution and editing, however, might have bumped the film up from 'decent' to 'excellent'. I would recommend watching it if you have some time to kill, as it does have some genuinely creepy moments, an decent story and interesting themes, but it certainly wouldn't be my first pick for movie night. It's not something that I'll be re-watching, either. The movie gets three out of five stars from me. It would have been lower, but like I said, I enjoyed the themes being explored throughout the film.